Getting on the property ladder can happen at any point in a person’s life. We often have a picket-fence mentality when it comes to thinking about how families grow – get married, buy a house, have children and live Stepford Wives happy ever after. Back to reality…not everyone’s plan works out that way, and getting a mortgage can come a little further down the line.
So how do you get your first mortgage?
As soon as you make up your mind to get on the property ladder, you should start preparing before you speak with your bank or mortgage broker.
Start getting your paperwork in order, because lenders like to see the following:
- Your last three years’ worth of address history.
- Your payslips for the past three months, and your last P60. If you’re self employed you need to have three years worth of accounts to apply for a mortgage.
- Bank statements for the past three months, and a list of all your loans and credit cards with their balances.
- Details of any debts, defaults and CCJs.
- A list of your income and expenditure.
All mortgage lenders have a duty to make sure that they are lending responsibly – they need to be assured that the money is being lent to someone who is highly likely to pay it back. I remember being a little overwhelmed when I applied for my first mortgage because of the many questions, but don’t take it personally if you’re being asked lots of personal questions out your finances.
Get a head start
It’s a good idea to check your credit score with a credit reference agency like Experian so you can contact any lenders or creditors to make changes or settlements on your credit file so that it is as clean as possible before you make a mortgage application.
If you have bad credit, you should be upfront about it before a credit score is undertaken, as every credit search that is undertaken will stay on your credit file for a year.
Simple things like paying all your credit cards on time and making sure you that are on the voters’ roll at your current address will help to improve your credit score. If you haven’t got these things in place, you can use a few. I this to do this before making your mortgage application so you can get the best mortgage deal for your circumstances.